Graduate Education

Graduate Training

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, of the Washington Center for Muscle Biology (WCMB), conduct research in many diverse and stimulating training programs. These include those seeking new and novel treatments for muscular dystrophy and heart failure.  Our students are supported by research and teaching assistantships from academic departments and individual research grants.  They are also supported by grants from the WCMB Student Fellowship fund, which are awarded on a competitive basis.

Muscle Biology Training Program (MBTP)

The MBTP complements current degree programs at WSU and in addition, awards a Graduate Certificate.  This program and the certificate will soon be expanded to include on-line courses and on-site workshops for graduate students at other universities, assuring a national and international impact of the Center’s educational mission. Graduate students are offered a menu of classes that address the biology of muscle as well as the pathobiology of muscle-related diseases. It also enables them to participate in basic, clinical and industrial research programs located throughout the state.

WCMB Award for Research Excellence

Every year, one graduate student and one postdoctoral fellow (MD or PhD) is recognized for a research accomplishment that is above and beyond what is expected of a trainee.  Awards are granted on a competitive basis and are supported by the WCMB Graduate Education fund.  Competition is actually quite fierce as WCMB scientists are among the most productive and recognized in the field.  Receiving this award, therefore, is a great honor.

A challenging curriculum

Graduate students enroll in a breadth of courses that build a solid foundation for advanced research in muscle biology.  A sample of select courses offered at Washington State University and the University of Washington are listed below.  The wide selection of courses, including many not listed, provides graduate students with the flexibility to customize their education and to enhance their research training.


Washington State University Courses (semester schedule)

AS 440, Animal PhysiologyAS 451/551, Endocrine Physiology
AS 488/588, BiotechnologyAS 504, Muscle Biochemistry
AS 520, Scientific WritingEXSCI 565, Muscle Physiology & Exercise Biogenetics
EXSCI 567, Cardiopulmonary Exercise PhysiologyBE 425/525, Biomechanics
BE 550, Cellular BioengineeringBIOL 430, Methods of Teaching
MBIOS 401/501, Cell BiologyMBIOS 405/505, Cell Biology of Disease
MBIOS 413/513, General Biochemistry IMBIOS 414/514, General Biochemistry II
MBIOS 454, Molecular TechniquesMBIOS 466/566, Physical Biochemistry
MBIOS 503, Molecular Biology IMBIOS 504, Molecular Biology II
MBIOS 574, Protein BiotechnologySTAT 412/512, Statistical Design
VPH 505, Design/Analysis of Biomedical ExperimentsVPH 555, General & Cellular Physiology
VMS 574, CardiologyVM 510, Veterinary Microanatomy
VM 511, Veterinary Anatomy IVM 512, Veterinary Anatomy II


University of Washington Courses (quarter schedule)

BIOC 405/406, Introduction to BiochemistryBIOC 440/441/442, Biochemistry
BIOC 526, Developmental Growth & DifferentiationBIOC 566, Growth & Differentiation of Striated Muscle
BIOEN 440, Introduction to BioengineeringBIOEN 501/502, Molecular & Cellular Bioengineering
BIOEN 586, Tissue EngineeringBIOL 401, Advanced Cell Biology
BIOL 462/468, Advanced & Medical PhysiologyBIOL 405, Cell & Molecular Biology of Human Disease
BIOL 427, BiomechanicsBIOL 457, Chemical Communication
BIOL 506, Scientific WritingBSTR 501/502, Anatomy & Embryology
BSTR 512, Human MicroanatomyPATH 450, Cell Biology of Aging
PATH 500, Molecular Basis of DiseasePATH 512, Molecular Basis of Disease: Death & Repair
PATH 515, Molecular Basis of Disease: Atherosclerosis & Myocardial InfarctionPATH 517, Biology & Pathology of Aging
PBIO 504, Biophysics of Nerve, Muscle & SynapsePBIO 505/506, Human Physiology
PBIO 507, Cardiovascular & Respiratory PhysiologyPBIO 550, Biophysics of Calcium Signaling
REHAB 442, Applied KinesiologyREHAB 547, Biomechanic Basis of Exercise
REHAB 562, Motor Control 

Apply for admission

WCMB faculty are associated with various degree-granting units. Prospective students interested in muscle biology, muscle related diseases and/or exercise physiology, therefore, have the option of applying to a specific unit or to an umbrella program. Some programs require students to rotate through different research laboratories, before ultimately choosing a faculty mentor, while others allow students to join a lab immediately. Either way, prospective students should first visit the researchers page to find potential mentors and research programs that match their professional interests. They can then begin the application process by clicking on the links below.

Apply to the Graduate School at Washington State University.

Apply to the Graduate School at the University of Washington

Apply to the Graduate School at the University of Idaho